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Charles Dickens

Transcript: Charles Dickens Charles John Huffam Dickens (7th February 1812 – 9th June 1870) was an English writer and social critic who is generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period. Charles Dickens is the creator of some of the world's most memorable fictional characters e.g Oliver Twist and Scrooge (A Christmas Carol). Born in Portsmouth, England, Dickens left school to work in a factory after his father was thrown into debtors' prison. He had little formal education. He edited a weekly journal for 20 years, wrote 15 novels and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction articles, lectured and performed extensively, was a letter writer and he campaigned vigorously for children's rights, education, and other social reforms. Dickens rocketed to fame with the 1836 publication of the 'Pickwick Papers'. Within a few years he had become an international literary celebrity, celebrated for his humour, satire, and keen observation of character and society. Dickens was regarded as the 'literary colossus' of his age. His 1843 novella, 'A Christmas Carol', is one of the most influential works ever written, and it remains popular and continues to inspire adaptations in every artistic genre i.e Movies, Drama Productions, Musicals etc. In 1833 Dickens' first story, 'A Dinner at Poplar Walk' was published in the London periodical, Monthly Magazine, a year after he missed an audition at Covent Garden for which he had spent years preparing for, thus ending his interest in a career as an actor. He rented rooms at 'Furnival's Inn' becoming a political journalist, reporting on parliamentary debates. Dickens travelled across Britain to cover election campaigns for the 'Morning Chronicle'. His journalism, in the form of sketches formed his first collection of pieces 'Sketches by Boz' - Boz being a family nickname, he published these sketches in 1836. In November 1836 Dickens accepted the job of editor of 'Bentley's Miscellany', a position he held for three years, until he fell out with the owner. At the same time, his success as a novelist continued, producing one of his most well known works 'Oliver Twist' (1837–39) On the 2nd April 1836, he married Catherine Thompson Hogarth (1816 - 1879). After celebrating their brief honeymoon in Kent they returned to lodgings at Furnival's Inn, before setting up home in 'Bloomsbury' a year later, they had 10 children. Due to Dickens being an international celebrity of the writing world during is travels to places such as North America, Canada, Ireland and Scotland he gave a series of 'farewell' readings' allowing his fans to hear him read before he set sail for Great Britain. Earlier it was mentioned how many of his novels have been adapted into musicals. This is a scene from the 1968 film 'Oliver Twist'. Sadly though, 'Oliver Twist' was only published 13 years after a stroke took the writers life age 58, adding him to the list of Britain's greatest writers. By Brandon Towells

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